Saturday, January 23, 2016

I MOVED!!!!

I wish this could have been a seamless process, but unfortunately it wasn't.  

I moved from Blogger to Word Press.  My older post had to stay with Blogger because it would not all transfer to Word Press.  

It's ok, on to a bigger and brighter future.  Please visit my new home at blessed2quilt.com.

Friday, January 1, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Hey Everyone!!!

Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I've waited just to post on today and not on this past Wednesday, just to say Happy New Year to each and everyone of you!

This past week, not much quilty stuff going on because I had to work on the Bylaws for the Jordan's Smile Foundation (JSF).  I will definitely be sharing more with you once JSF is legally incorporated (Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks!)

After working on our bed, Wanda's and Nona's quilts, Cameron and I gave the studio a good cleaning.  Oh, my goodness, it was super dusty from just those 3 quilts.  Cameron and I had a "Sneeze Attack" going on.  I will sneeze and she would sneeze louder.  She would cough and my cough would be much harder.  It got to be quite hilarious.  I eventually had to make her leave, because of the possibility of setting off her asthma.  It has been awhile since she had any issues with asthma, and I didn't want her to just because SHE wanted to be in my studio!

I did finish the binding on our super-sized, king size bed quilt and created these two cute pillows to match:

                                       
        
I generally, don't like making resolutions because I never keep them.  I really do have good intentions, but I somehow, I'd either forget or just plain quit!

This year, my anthem is to, "Smile and Pray more; Cry and fear less!"

I will be more adventurous!  I have planned a once a year trip, just to go and meet my quilting friends from online. This will not just a meet and greet.  It would be a great experience and the sole purpose would be is to get private lessons on FMQ.  On the inside of me, I truly believe that there is an awesome FMQ'er and she is ready to come out and be who she was called to be.  I no longer want to be limited to just doing pantographs.  The funny part, is I have all kinds of books, Craftsy classes and videos on how to do the designs, but for some reason it is not connecting with my brain and hands.  I believe it is because I don't have that person right in front of me for immediate correction.  I am confident with stippling/meandering with a medium quilt-sized scale.  Up first will be the basic swirl.  Once I master it, I will move on to more advanced swirls (i.e. swirl flowers, spirals, and dense swirls.)  As I go along I will share my progress.  Yep, this year, I will take you guys along with me and I practice and maybe even struggle with FMQ.

We all had to start from somewhere. I don't think I know of any quilter that on their first attempt at FMQ that their quilts came out FLAWLESS!  We all have to practice, practice and practice some more.  When it comes to handmade crafts and perfection, well, lets just say, they should never be in the same sentence.  Just as, I and perfection should never be.  They are oxymoron's, IMO!  We are not perfect and nothing we do ever will, so I am purposely choosing the concept of #PrettyDangCloseInMyEyes this year!

My #PrettyDangCloseInMyEyes view of my first attempt at FMQing Swirls in almost 2 years:

                                                     


Well, today I have absolutely nothing to do or no place to go.  It will be a day filled with sleeping, eating and maybe, just maybe some quilting.  I really do need the rest and I plan on getting!

I'm looking forward to seeing what 2016 has in store for me and Blessed 2 Quilt.  What concept are you purposely choosing for 2016? 




Saturday, December 26, 2015

What a Week

Hey Everyone!!!

I pray all is well in your world!!  I had a very good holiday, no craziness, just some good ole fashioned music, fun, memories and food.

I was super excited about this week, just about having a couple of days off from work.  I felt, as if many suspected, to be super emotional and boy oh boy I was.  I think I was the entire month, hence not shopping for anyone until 2-5 am Christmas Eve.  Once I was out and about I was good, but we sat down to eat at IHOP and here came the rest of the emotions.  We got home around 5:30, I took a good nap and was ready for round two around 10am finally finishing up at 1:30!  Came home to wrap all the goodies and finish preparing for #BDSI.

This week I delivered Nona's quilt, in her words, "It is beautiful.  So much better than I would've done lol and better than imagined."

                                             

Now, until my next customer, I can work on a couple of my own projects.  Stay tuned for tweets, IG and FB pics on my next couple of projects for the #BDSI

Well, as soon as I finished getting my pedi, off to quilting I go.  Yes, SI can't start without one, lol.  They don't call me the Quilt Diva for nothing! πŸ˜‰
       


Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Work In Process

Hey Everyone!!!

This past week has been jammed packed full of festive activities, shopping, working, and of course some quilting.  I have put in many long and late hours working both my full time job and Nona's quilt.

I knew I would have some dilemmas with this quilt, so I will not harbor on anything negative.  I can testify as to what I stated last week - I AM TRULY WORKING OUTSIDE OF MY NORM and it's ALL GOOD!!!  I am having to think differently and figure things out as best as I can to make this quilt everything I had envisioned.

From this pile:


                                               
 
I created this layout:

                                               
    
Bottom section completed:

                                                    
                                                       
     
I had to rework the top half of the quilt, and in my opinion, it's coming out beautifully.  Tonight is a church night, so I will not be able to do anything this evening.  I plan to have it loaded on Ava by Friday bedtime.  This way I can quilt it Saturday and start the binding process Sunday and have her ready for delivery on Dec. 23rd.  A picture of the completed quilt will shared next week.

I placed a couple of orders for rulers and some retired pantographs so I will be able to share those with you next week!

Well, this is it for today ---

Nona's T-Shirt Quilt

Hey Everyone!!!


I pray that you all are well and have had a wonderful quilty past week.


I have been working on Christmas quilt #2.  This quilt is due for delivery the week of Christmas.  This quilt reminds me of the quote, "When life hands you scraps, make a quilt!"  Not saying that it's bad, I'm just saying that it is way different than what I am used to receiving.


I met Nona in the parking lot of Wal-Mart.  She was super nice, I gave her my card and was hopeful to hear from her again.  Several months later, she sent me a text and I was super elated. I met with her at the assigned drop off and pick up point close to my home.  I usually take the time to get a good glance of everything prior to accepting a quilt top or t-shirts.  She had given me a huge tote bag and she pulled out several items from the bag.  I noticed that some of T's have already been cut and even stabilized in a manner that My eyes have never seen, but heard of.  She stabilized the tops with a fusible interfacing and another cotton fabric (I just back the T-shirt with my favorite Pellon stabilizer).  She then explained that her intended was to create the top herself and have it quilted, but life had flipped on her.  I shook my head, because you know I know what that feels like!  She then stated that the rest of the T's were in the bag.  She was in a bit of a hurry and I was too sorta, we were painting and getting my quilt studio together.


So this weekend, I was ready to work on this quilt.  I pulled everything from the bag and noticed there were NO whole T-shirts,  everything has been cut and cut in different sizes.  This is what I meant by the quote above.  I was thrown for a loop because - I know how I cut T's and how to watch out for logo placements.  I had very little wiggle room to resize these blocks and on some, I will definitely be cutting into the logos.  I blame myself solely, because I didn't take the time to look thru the whole bag.  In a way I was handed scraps, so now I had to make a quilt!   I also realize that this is a perfect way for me to prepare for things outside of my norm, so it's a good thing!!! 😊


Here is a pic of some of the blocks on my design wall. 

                                                   
       

I have to mark a throw size template on our living room floor so that I can figure out the exact placement of each block and add the necessary fillers.  In my next post I will be sure to show more pics of this beauty.


Well, off to quilting I go.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Black Friday and Wanda's Quilt

Hey everyone!!!  We survived our first Thanksgiving without our Jordan.  Tears of joy and happiness were shed, food was ate, and I got plumb-er!!! 😊

On Black Friday, I had to work.  The only shopping I did on this day was for myself, ONLINE!  I stocked up on batting. There are two batting brands that I absolutely love, Quilters Dream and Pellon.  I already have several packages of Quilters Dream batting, but needed more of the Pellon.  So I purchased (2) 9 yard bolts of batting from Walmart, one being Pellon Natural Cotton, 100% Cotton and the other Pellon Natural Blend 80/20.

In my last post I told you that I would be working on my friend, Wanda's quilt for #BFSI.  Tension issues struck again, so I thought.  For the longest time, I thought I was having problems with the tension, but I really wasn't.  On the back of the quilt were tiny white dots.  These dots were from my top thread peeking thru.  No matter how I adjusted the top thread or bobbin thread it would always pull to either the top of the quilt or bottom of the quilt. It got so bad that when I tested it on my tester fabric, everything looked beautiful.  When I started on the quilt, this is when I would see the dots.  I consulted my expert quilter friends (Twilters and IG'ers) and found that it was ALWAYS best to use only one thread color for both the top and bobbin.  This would save me many hours from picking out stitches to me keeping my sanity.  Sooo, it wasn't really a tension issue afterall, it was my lack of knowledge about using thread two different thread colors.  I did get lucky tho, If you follow me on Twitter and IG, I showed a pic of one spot on the quilt that the bobbin color came to the top. I was warring if I should pick it out or leave it be.  My family members could not see it, only when I pointed it out to them and when I took the picture.  Once I took the quilt off the frame and allowed the quilt to relax, I couldn't find the spot again.  In retrospect, the only thing I really had the most difficulty with was picking out the pantograph.  I can easily pick for myself, but to do it for someone else is nerve wrecking (It's almost just as bad as having tension issues!) Wanda did leave it to my discretion as to which quilt design to choose.  I knew the recipient of the quilt was a female, the quilt had bold orange chevrons against a white on white print fabric.  I didn't want to choose a design that would take away from the chevrons.  The white fabric had printed swirls and flowers. I didn't want anything floral because it would compete with the bold chevrons, so it had to be more swirls than anything.  I used the closest pantograph I had that would deliver femininity and swirls.  Again, I went with Breath of the Gods from Urban Elementz.  This quilt came out beautiful and I am super happy with it!!!  Now, I happen to run into her husband on yesterday and showed him the quilt, he said, "Dang Stephanie, this is beautiful.  Wanda is going to love this!"  This, coming from a man who has sewn clothing and has sewn/mended orthotics and prosthetic accessories for the past 20+ years.  So, this truly meant a lot to me to hear his compliment.  Here is Wanda's orange and white quilt:


                           
 
 
                                             
 
This is all I did for #BFSI, what did you do?
 


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quilted

HIP, HIP HOORAY!!!  I finished quilting my king sized quilt, my first, in 11 months!!! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ

Overall, I found it exhilarating!!!  I'm very proud of myself and look forward to the many more I will quilt in the future.  Once I got my tension issues straightened out (I will explain later in the post), I was good to go.  I believe it had everything to do with me using 2 different threads and a flannel backing.  For the bobbin thread, I used Bobbin Line by Fil-Tec:

                                          
    

For the top thread, I used Glide by Fil-Tec:

                                           

I realized that I didn't give myself proper spacing behind my quilting frame.  I had to stand a little to the left of my machine in order for me to quilt each pass.  This was because the machine head would not extend all the way to the back.  What a bummer!!!πŸ˜” I also noticed in certain places my machine did a shimmy dance, it got worse with each pass.  We tried tightening and loosening the tracks, but to no avail.  In order for me to have peace of mind, my dealer will have to come and make the necessary adjustments.  (After the holidays of course!) πŸ˜‰ 
As expected, tension, Tension, TENSION was an issue.  On my first quilt back, I should have never started out with two different thread weights and a flannel backing.  I did practice on my scrap fabric for about 30-40 minutes before I achieved an exceptable tension.  I got started with a previously used wound bobbin, no trouble at with tension.  Once it ran out, replaced with a new bobbin, I started going, snap went my thread.  I looked at the stitches and they were all way loose.  After another 30-40 minutes, I finally got it.  Half way down the quilt, snap.  What now?!?  Some how my threads shredded and tangled up.  I fixed the problem and went to bed.  Next day not one problem.  I think Ava was sleepy too!  Then when this bobbin was empty, I changed the bobbin (Of course) and guess what, no tension issues!!!😊

The starter pass felt awkward, but that's like that for me every time I start a quilt.  After my second full pass, I started to feel more comfortable with the pantograph.  I was able to speed up just a little bit.  I found wearing earbuds and really comfy clothes relaxing.  I listened to a Pandora gospel station and jammed all the way.  My next goal is to download Christian books so I can listen to them as well.

Below is the finished top, I have yet to bind it.                                            
   
                                           

Sandy, from http://quiltingfortherestofus.com, mentioned that the #BFSI is a go!  I refuse to go shopping, tomorrow for anything Christmas related.  Unfortunately, I do have to go to Walmart first thing in the morning to get a booster seat for my daughter (Hers was destroyed in the car accident) so we can travel to my God-Mothers house to celebrate Thanksgiving.  On Black Friday, I have to work half a day.  I plan on going to Joann/Hancock to get batting and Pellon stabilizer and that's it!  Then, home I go to start on my first 2015 commissioned quilt.  Recently, Wanda, my friend just started quilting and she choose me to be her long arm quilter.  Isn't this orange and white twin size quilt a cutie:                                                   
                                                    
                                                    
  
Well, I guess I better hit the sack.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so from my family to yours, have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!